HEKS/EPER is making a difference in the «Access to land and resources» in Colombia
The over 50-year old armed conflict between Government and FARC rebels, single-crop farming for export and biofuel production as well as mining projects all combine to jeopardize the livelihoods of rural communities in Colombia and give rise to forcible evictions. The civilian population gets caught up in the conflict owing to the militarization of daily life and the demands being made by armed groups. The consequences are serious human rights violations, violence, poverty, hunger, displacement, as well as the destruction of social networks and traditional values. Through its projects, HEKS/EPER strives to help create a more just and peaceful society and to improve the livelihoods of internally displaced families and rural communities.
In 2019, some 35’000 people in this conflict-ridden country were supported in peace initiatives or in activities to secure their rights to land, resources and to a say in decision-making.
Rural communities need unimpeded access to natural resources such as land, water, pastures, savannahs or forests if they are to develop. The possibility to use these resources is critical to fighting hunger and poverty. Agriculture is, after all, the most important source of income for many rural communities. With crop farming, small plantations, livestock rearing, fishing or gathering they can secure their food supply and generate income by selling their produce. Land also serves communities as living space and reinforces cultural and spiritual identity. Many rural communities still lack access to land or risk losing it despite existing or traditional law. HEKS/EPER therefore helps them, through numerous projects, to secure long-term access to land and resources, both practically and legally.
Colombia Country Programme
Rural development and peacebuilding
In Colombia, HEKS/EPER is contributing to a more just and peaceful society and to improving the livelihoods of internally displaced families and rural communities.